Fresh Start to Active Living Around New York in 2019
New year, new you? Whether you have grand ambitions for 2019 or just want to be a little more active, there’s an outdoor or active living option for you in New York City. From group fitness classes in the warmth and comfort of a studio to exercising while enjoying the city’s outdoor spaces, here’s some inspiration for making a fresh start with active living around New York in 2019. Plus, can’t get outside? Read down to find out about the buildings offering the best amenities for living an active lifestyle without having to leave home.
Join a yoga class
Whether you’re already flexible or are wanting to become more so, there’s a yoga studio on practically every street corner in NYC. Meditative yoga, hot yoga, restorative yoga, laughter yoga, and naked yoga (yes, really) are just a few of the varieties you can check out. Plus, in the summer you can join an outdoor yoga class--strike a tree pose while being surrounded by the real thing. Bryant Park, Prospect Park, Astoria Park, and Hudson River Park offer large open spaces as well as beautiful views, and rooftop yoga is also an option. The great thing about yoga is that you can practice at home without any special equipment, so fitting active living into your daily routine is super easy.
Kayak or canoe on a waterway
Kayaking or canoeing on the water is a great way to get in shape while admiring city skyline views. The New York City Water Trail links 160 square miles of waterways across New York’s boroughs, offering almost endless options for exploring. Plus, in the summer, some free kayaking and canoeing sessions are offered on the Hudson River, East River, and New York Harbor. You can hire kayaks/canoes and gear if you don’t have your own or want to see whether the sport is for you before making a larger investment. Kayaking and canoeing can be as solitary or sociable as you like, with tandem and single boats available, making it easy to combine your workout with an accountability buddy.
Cycle the city
While the dense urban environment of New York City might not seem to offer ideal cycling conditions, cycling is growing in popularity in the city. Many New Yorkers are now cycling to work, joining cycle clubs, and making use of bicycle sharing and hiring facilities. If zipping through the city traffic doesn’t appeal, Central Park and Prospect Park encourage cycling at the weekends by limiting or prohibiting motor vehicles, so you can enjoy a ride without the worry. Plus, you can always join a spinning studio for stationary cycle fun in conjunction with loud, up-tempo music. Expect to sweat.
Hike a trail
Hiking trails surrounded by nature may be closer to the central city than you think. Just an hour or two outside the city you can find woodland, rolling hills, streams, and lakes to explore. Bronx’s Pelham Bay Park, Arden Point-Hudson Highlands State Park, Staten Island’s Green Belt, and Franny Reese State Park are just a few of the easily accessible spots within a couple of hours of NYC that offer fun day hikes suitable for the whole family. To step up the activity level if you’re an experienced runner, try trail running. Some trails can be reached via public transport, while others do require your own set of wheels.
Dance, dance, dance
New York is famous for its vibrant dance, from Broadway to Latin to hip hop to classical. Whether you dance like no one's watching or just want to try on some dancing shoes for a while, New York is the place to get active to the beat. For group dance classes in a gym setting, try Zumba. For something a little more risque but very good for your body, pole fitness will teach you some slinky moves. To combine dance moves with yoga and Pilates exercises, head to a barre studio. Plus, you can always practice what you learn in class during a night out on the town (go easy on the alcohol if you’re trying to get or stay in shape).
If you have your own cross-country ski gear and there’s at least 6 inches of snow on the ground (which, let’s face it, is most winters now), head to Central Park to warm up. There’s flat and gentle hilly terrain that’s suitable for a range of levels of experience. The Sheep Meadow, Great Lawn, and North Meadow areas of the park are especially good for skiing. And of course, there are great cross-country skiing destinations a little further afield upstate, if you want to make a day or weekend trip of it. Rockland Lake State Park, Fahnestock State Park, and Minnewaska State Park Preserve are all fun destinations for cross-country skiing.
Buildings with Amenities to Live an Active Lifestyle
50 Riverside Boulevard